Instrument in Oscar nominated Argo score is not a What but a Who
Acclaimed Iranian vocalist and composer Sussan Deyhim is the mysterious sound heard throughout composer Alexandre Desplat’s Oscar-nominated score for Argo. Deyhim's voice becomes an instrument that is used dramatically, percussively, and melodically. Under the direction of Desplat, Deyhim delivers a distinctive vocal performance filled with sensitivity, elegance, dignity, and charm. Argo’s original score by Alexandre Desplat is nominated for an Academy Award. Since its release, Argo has won Best Picture at the Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globes.
Argo, directed by Ben Affleck, tells the story of CIA operative Tony Mendez (Affleck) and his attempt to rescue six U.S. diplomats during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Oscar-nominated composer Alexandre Desplat wanted to create an authentic Middle Eastern feel defined by vocal soundscape rather than lyrics. “Ben [Affleck] and I decided early on that language would not be incorporated into the score. It would be sound.” Desplat embraced Deyhim’s ability to improvise unique and original instrumental vocals. “Sussan can conjure up spell binding rhythms using her in and out breath and subtle hypnotic reverberations.” The end result is a score that Ben Affleck says “doesn’t feel too literal or cliché, but [has] a sound that instantly puts you in that place.”
In this featurette, Alexandre Desplat discusses his creative process and working closely with director and actor Ben Affleck for Argo. Desplat takes you behind the scenes of the scoring session, discussing the important use of many Middle Eastern instruments as well as vocal sounds rather than words performed by renowned vocalist Sussan Deyhim.
Sussan Deyhim has received international acclaim for her ability to create eclectic vocal textures that are at once both familiar and foreign by mixing traditional Iranian and other world influences with western classical, jazz and electronic music. She was once described by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times as “the sound of the soul in translation.”
Deyhim’s vocal composition “Beshno Az Ney” was included in the U2 360 Tour honoring the Iranian Green Movement and the Arab Uprising. She is a frequent participant in human rights events worldwide including performing at Ted Turner’s gathering of the spiritual leaders of the world at the UN General Assembly. She has worked with award-winning directors Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone as well as acclaimed composers John Debney, Richard Horowitz, Jan Kaczmarek and Alberto Iglesias. Deyhim has also worked alongside many world-renowned musical talents including Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Peter Gabriel, Grammy-winning composer/ vocalist Bobby McFerrin and the Grammy nominated Blue Man Group.
Sussan Deyhim's one woman media show based on the legendary icon of Iran's 50's Forugh Farrokhzad will premiere in Los Angeles in late 2013.